College Basketball Recruits Who Have Become Breakout Stars at July Events
Now that the July live evaluation period is in the books, it's time to take a look at which prospects helped themselves the most over the past several weeks.
With the nation's best high school basketball prospects playing in events in front of college coaches all over the country, there were a lot of players who earned tons of scholarship offers based on their play in July.
Some prospects are late bloomers who could come in and help a college program this year while others are younger prospects who are just starting to make a name for themselves on the national level.
Here's a look at 10 players from four different classes who helped themselves with a strong month of July.
Recruiting ratings via 247Sports.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and information were obtained firsthand.
Chris Seeley, Forward
Perception before July: Entering July, the 6'6" forward from Fresno was a relative unknown on the national recruiting scene. Not a lot of unsigned Class of 2016 players break out the July before their freshman year of college, but with the way Seeley played in July, he's earned multiple high-major scholarship offers.
Why he's rising: If you take a look at the video above of Seeley dunking on an opponent at the Las Vegas Fab 48, then you can see why he's getting a lot of positive buzz from coaches. With long arms, good athleticism and a high motor, Seeley had coaches scrambling to learn more about the college freshman.
What to look forward to: Since the breakout July, Seeley has picked up a few scholarship offers and has four official visits set to Washington State, UTEP, Oregon State and Utah. According to Splash City coach Eder Sanchez, Seeley will likely make his decision on August 13th after his visits.
Wabissa Bede, Point Guard
Perception before July: A 3-star prospect entering the month, the 6'1" Bede was seen as a solid point guard option for lower level high-major programs and higher level mid-major programs. During April, Bede showed himself to be a good floor leader, but he didn't shoot the ball particularly well and didn't put up notable numbers.
Why he's rising: With college coaches looking for point guards, Bede proved himself to be a more-than-capable floor general in July by helping Mass Rivals win two major Adidas championships and ending the months with a perfect record. Bede also doubled his scoring average from April during the Adidas Summer Championships while averaging 4.0 assists per game.
What to look forward to: Now that Bede has established himself as a high-major point guard in a class that needs more of them, he should have an intriguing recruitment as some bigger schools begin to recruit him. Because of Bede's competitive nature and defensive intensity, he'll have a lot of schools that make him a priority.
Jemarl Baker, Shooting Guard
Perception before July: Already a known top-100 prospect who is committed to Cal, the 6'4" Baker was known as a three-point marksman who could also do a little bit of distributing. Baker was one of the most efficient players in the country while playing with Earl Watson Elite in the Under Armour Association this spring.
Why he's rising: Baker took his game to the next level during July and was solid for Earl Watson Elite during the UAA Finals in Atlanta, which he followed up by winning MVP at the Las Vegas Fab 48. Baker shot the ball well and was also effective as a secondary ball handler who found others for easy baskets.
What to look forward to: The intriguing part of Baker's future development will be if he can become a point guard at the next level. Cal also has Baker's teammate and backcourt running mate, Juhwan Harris-Dyson, committed to play, but it wouldn't hurt if Baker can also play on the ball.
Jase Febres, Small Forward
Perception before July: Because he battled injury throughout the spring, the 6'5" Febres didn't get to play a lot in front of college coaches as much as some of his peers. Febres missed the opening April weekend and wasn't fully healthy during the second live weekend in April.
Why he's rising: Now at full strength, Febres shot the lights out during July as he had multiple strong events playing with Texas Pro. Febres shot 47 percent from three-point range during the adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina and followed that up with 41 percent shooting from three-point range during the adidas Summer Championships.
What to look forward to: Since Las Vegas ended, Febres has already earned new high-major scholarship offers from Stanford, TCU, Texas Tech, Washington State and West Virginia while N.C. State, Houston and Baylor are also firmly in the mix. Since schools are always looking for perimeter shooters with size, Febres will be a coveted prospect.
Jermaine Samuels, Small Forward
Perception before July: A consensus top-100 prospect entering July, Samuels ran with Expressions Elite, one of the best programs in the Nike EYBL during the spring. So he was already a priority recruit for a handful of high-major programs entering the live period.
Why he's rising: During Peach Jam, Samuels shot the ball much better than he had during the spring and that helped catapult him into the national discussion as a potentially elite prospect. With good size and strong rebounding ability from the wing, Samuels is a two-way wing with size that teams covet.
What to look forward to: Now that Samuels has picked up a scholarship offer from Kansas with interest coming from Duke and Kentucky, it could dramatically change the recruiting picture for the prospect.
Jacob Epperson, Center
Perception before July: International recruiting has seen a major uptick in recent years and Australia has become a fertile recruiting ground for some programs. Coaches and scouts had heard rumblings of the 6'11" Epperson being the next high-major big man from Australia, but he needed to prove himself during July.
Why he's rising: Coaches and scouts began saying positive things about Epperson early in the month and now he's become a high-major priority recruit who is piling up scholarship offers. Epperson is an intriguing prospect who can protect the rim a little bit and has showed skills and good hands.
What to look forward to: Recruiting all happened quickly for Epperson and it'll be fascinating to see what happens next now that he's staying in the United States and attending La Lumiere next season. Since he'll have so many quality big men to play at his new school, a lot of schools will be rolling in to check out Epperson.
Luguentz Dort, Shooting Guard
Perception before July: An athletic shooting guard who is also solid as a shooter, the 6'3" Dort was known as one of the best prospects in Canada and played for a known program in Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla., but he wasn't a big-time national prospect.
Why he's rising: After another solid month playing with Brookwood Elite on the adidas circuit, Dort has become more of a priority recruit for high-major programs. During July it seemed like Dort was constantly throwing down big dunks and making plays as a scorer.
What to look forward to: The Class of 2018 doesn't seem promising so Dort will definitely have a chance to rise up the national rankings if he continues to play this way during his junior season of high school ball. If Dort averages 20 points and 7 rebounds per game like he did this summer, he'll get a ton of recruiting attention.
Louis King, Small Forward
Perception before July: A solid 4-star prospect coming into July, King was already being tracked by high-major programs throughout the nation as the Class of 2018 small forward was beginning to make a name for himself. At 6'8", King has very good size to play on the wing and he's versatile enough to do a lot on the court.
Why he's rising: Playing on a loaded Sports U 16s team that featured a handful of high-major prospects, King had a good-looking perimeter jumper and his upside is very good. King adjusted well to playing in some high-profile events and it appears he is beginning to figure out ways to use his vast potential.
What to look forward to: Now that King looks like he's figuring things out, he could very well ascend to 5-star status across the board as we could see some of the blueblood high-major programs get involved very quickly.
Scottie Lewis, Shooting Guard
Perception before July: A mega athlete, the 6'5" Lewis was already gaining national attention for his high-flying dunks and above-the-rim assaults. Playing with Tinton Falls Ranney (N.J.) teammate Bryan Antoine, Lewis already had a lot of high-major scholarship offers entering July.
Why he's rising: As one of the best players in all of high school basketball during the month of July—regardless of class—Lewis was tremendous playing with Team Rio's 16s team. Showing more than just an ability to play vertically, Lewis displayed a high skill level at guard and also knocked down perimeter jumpers.
What to look forward to: Since Lewis can do things athletically that not many can dream of; he's got a chance at being a top-five player in his class while also being a coveted blue blood recruit. Lewis is the type of freak athlete at guard that doesn't come around often.
Matthew Hurt, Power Forward
Perception before July: As the younger brother of Minnesota Class of 2016 commit Michael Hurt, Matthew Hurt already started gaining a national reputation entering his freshman year of high school. At 6'9" with a high skill level and good athleticism, Hurt has a bright basketball future ahead of him.
Why he's rising: Since July began, Hurt has picked up scholarship offers from Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina, UCLA and Louisville as he enters only his sophomore year of high school. Playing two grade levels up for D1 Minnesota's 17s team, Hurt was a force during the month of July as he scored from all over the floor and defended multiple positions.
What to look forward to: With some of college basketball's best programs jumping in early; Hurt is going to have a fascinating recruitment over the next few years. Having a brother committed to in-state Minnesota also complicates matters as the Golden Gophers should remain in the picture as long as Michael is on campus.